Proceedings of the Royal Society B-Biological Sciences
20160834 (10 pp.)
Modelling the spatial spread of vector-borne zoonotic pathogens maintained in enzootic transmission cycles remains a major challenge. The best available spatio-temporal data on pathogen spread often take the form of human disease surveillance data. By applying a classic ecological approach-occupancy modelling-to an epidemiological question of disease spread, we used surveillance data to examine the latent ecological invasion of tick-borne pathogens. Over the last half-century, previously undescribed tick-borne pathogens including the agents of Lyme disease and human babesiosis have rapidly spread across the northeast United States. Despite their epidemiological importance, the mechanisms of tick-borne pathogen invasion and drivers underlying the distinct invasion trajectories of the co-vectored pathogens remain unresolved. Our approach allowed us to estimate the unobserved ecological processes underlying pathogen spread while accounting for imperfect detection of human cases. Our model predicts that tick-borne diseases spread in a diffusion-like manner with occasional long-distance dispersal and that babesiosis spread exhibits strong dependence on Lyme disease.
Original Publication Citation
Walter, K. S., Pepin, K. M., Webb, C. T., Gaff, H. D., Krause, P. J., Pitzer, V. E., & Diuk-Wasser, M. A. (2016). Invasion of two tick-borne diseases across New England: Harnessing human surveillance data to capture underlying ecological invasion processes. Proceedings of the Royal Society B-Biological Sciences, 283(1832), 20160834. doi:10.1098/rspb.2016.0834
Walter, Katharine S.; Pepin, Kim M.; Webb, Colleen T.; Gaff, Holly D.; Krause, Peter J.; Pitzer, Virginia E.; and Diuk-Wasser, Maria A., "Invasion of Two Tick-borne Diseases Across New England: Harnessing Human Surveillance Data to Capture Underlying Ecological Invasion Processes" (2016). Biological Sciences Faculty Publications. 345.